'BOREALIS RISING' - A Subnautica Story V2.0.

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  • TenebrousNovaTenebrousNova England Join Date: 2015-12-23 Member: 210206Members Posts: 640 Advanced user
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    edited August 12
    One final detail requires my immediate attention.

    As far as we can determine, Damocles won't be crumbling apart any time in the foreseeable future. The detonation shockwave propagated poorly in the planet's thin atmosphere, barely ruffling its dusty surface. Cutty Sark has completed its fourth and final orbit, and a fresh complement of recon probes have been deployed. Initial data indicates a successful EMP strike, although I won't be breaking out the bubbly just yet. There's still a cache of those wee horrors inside the Precursor containment facility, and I aim to put an end to them. That's one less thing to lose sleep over, even though those nanites are safely confined to a theoretically secure container.

    It's the 'theoretically secure' part that concerns me. I believe it's only a matter of time before someone conjures a way to crack open that Pandora's Box, and we're back to square one. I'd rather nip this situation in the bud.

    Like most bright ideas, inspiration came from a totally unexpected direction. I haven't spoken to Héloise for the best part of a fortnight, and she might have some choice words to say about that. Given her... delicate condition, it comes as no real surprise that a wee tinge of emotional colour has crept into some of our conversations. Nowadays, she has a fair temper about her, and that's something best addressed with frequent back-rubs, chocolate éclairs and a soothing tone of voice.

    However, I digress.

    As I mulled over an ever-increasing probability of Héloise decapitating me with her Guardian's Knot, my mind wandered back to an unfortunate incident aboard Aurora. Only three weeks out from Gateway Station, a newly-wed couple ran into a spot of bother. Harsh words were exchanged, certain persons were accused of monkey-shines with another monkey's monkey... You get the basic picture. Anyway, at a certain point in this howling mess, someone's PDA ended up in a microwave oven.

    One thousand Watts and one extremely messy punch-up later, there wasn't much point in retrieving their semi-precious wedding memories. Apparently, the honeymoon footage also included rather more participants than the other partner considered appropriate at the time.

    I reckon five kilowatts should do the job quite nicely. Those display cases are completely transparent to our scanner beams, so it's a safe bet that microwave radiation will pass through this material just as easily. All I need now is a couple of minutes and a Fabricator terminal.

    Disco Volante's headlights threw a shimmering silver tapestry upon the walls of the containment facility's moon pool. Barely audible over the gently lapping water below, I could hear the steady tic-tic-tic of Precursor drones scurrying to and fro in the central atrium. The maser cannon felt bulky and awkward in my hands, since most of its fifty-kilo mass is centred on a large shielded magnetron and a pair of ion power cells sitting atop a rudimentary pistol grip. Its muzzle is a basic assembly of three concentric aluminium tubes acting as waveguides. It's not the most elegant design I've ever concocted, although there's little doubt that it will function precisely as intended.

    If not, there's always Plan B... One of Doc Zelenka's 'fun-sized' boxes of boom. Yield: 0.001 kilotons.
    Normally used as a first stage fusion initiator in megaton-yield thermonuclear devices.

    She calls them 'kittens'.

    I depressed the weapon's firing stud. A deep, booming hum filled the echoing space around me. I swept its beam over the case methodically, top to bottom, then side to side. The hazy grey-green film in the sealed chamber sparked and flared like a bonsai fireworks display.


    The ultimate irony of Ultimate Weapons: They are invariably the last thing that a civilization creates.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    0x6A7232TenebrousNovabaronvonsatan
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    edited July 20
    Another milestone has passed. Borealis is ready to leave her construction gantry.

    I conjure this is the most appropriate time to christen the hull, officially marking her first day in what I trust will be a long and highly distinguished career. The Belters are in particularly high spirits, since this ceremony also marks their first day aboard Borealis. An actual step taken on their long journey home. Suffice it to say, every detail of this momentous occasion has been meticulously planned; a dazzling spectacle that has been months in the making. As you'd rightly expect, these proceedings will include stirring music, rousing speeches and all manner of multicultural pomp and circumstance, well-lubricated with insane quantities of exotic foods and alcohol.

    It's traditional.

    "Sir, you're humming again." JUNO murmured confidentially. "Naturally, I'm well aware that this charming mannerism of yours generally indicates either good humour, intense concentration or precedes the evolution of an unpleasant situation... Is there a problem, Sir? Just checking."

    I grinned. She knows me far too well.

    "Nothing's gone awry, Lass." I chuckled. "This is like Christmas for me. I'm living in the moment."

    "I'm extremely relieved to hear that, Sir." JUNO replied. "It's time."

    I activated the topside PA system. The assembled crowd turned their faces expectantly in response.

    "Ladies, Gentlemen and esteemed guests. This is Borealis launch control. All systems are now go for launch. Please direct your attention to the area outlined by marker buoys at the western end of the island. Borealis will commence surfacing in 60 seconds. Thank you."

    "Right we are, then. All stations, stand to and confirm your readiness." I announced briskly.

    DIGBY: "Structural integrity is go."

    IANTO: "Buoyancy control is go."

    JUNO: "Mooring control is go."

    "The vessel now stands ready in all respects, Sir. We are clear to proceed." JUNO reported.

    "Thank you, Commander. Execute launch sequence."

    Only 10 metres of water separates Borealis from her true element. The intervening air is merely a brief inconvenience to be traversed at high speed. Rising at one metre per second, the ship's conn module broke surface in a dazzling explosion of spray, fittingly adorned with an auspicious rainbow. Above us, the Belters raised a thunderous cheer, spontaneously breaking into a lusty chorus of 'Drunken Spacer'. I had intended to broadcast something traditional and highly dignified over the PA, although the Belters neatly took over at the crucial moment. A typically irreverent Belter response to ostentatious displays of Flatlander pomposity. Can't say as I'm entirely unhappy about it, either.

    When all is said and done, that rough and ready shanty of theirs suits the occasion perfectly.

    What shall we do with the drunken Spacer?
    What shall we do with the drunken Spacer?
    What shall we do with the drunken Spacer, ear-ly in the morning?
    Kick her out the airlock 'til she's sober
    Kick her out the airlock 'til she's sober
    Kick her out the airlock 'til she's sober, ear-ly in the morning!

    Hoo-rah and up She rises!
    Hoo-rah and up She rises!
    Helm Horrors, sirens blaring, ear-ly in the morning!

    What can I say? It's traditional.
    0x6A7232TenebrousNovabaronvonsatan
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    edited August 5
    "Well, that's our bit over and done with." I said cheerfully. "It's about time we headed topside."

    The crowd had gravitated toward the island's west end during the launch, leaving us to saunter the full length of the landing platform without anyone noticing our seemingly inexplicable departure.

    Very well, we'll soon fix that.

    "Smartly now. Enable remote command on all drone units. That should get their attention."

    We halted in line-abreast formation about 150 metres from the crowd. The island's entire robotic workforce emerged from their underground hangars and storage bays, forming up quietly behind us.
    Well, at least as quietly as twenty Ripleys and over a hundred smaller mechs could manage.

    "Piper at the ready, front and centre."

    "Aye, Sir." DIGBY replied briskly, doubling over to his starting position.

    "We'll kick off with something classical, and see what happens."

    Iron-grey cumulus clouds scudded across the sky, swift heralds of an oncoming storm. Our ARGUS satellite array has been tracking its approach since dawn, and it looks like the main squall line will pass well to the south of Skull Island. Since this storm doesn't pose any direct threat to today's festivities, I've decided to use it as an unplanned special effect in our own modest party-piece.

    DIGBY signalled his readiness, having successfully wrestled his tartan Kraken into submission. JUNO, IANTO and I deftly swung our syntars into position, and we're feeling 500 per cent cooler than ZZ Top. Just a few seconds more... Distant lightning scorched a jagged slash across the sky. Even though I have the storm front's range pegged down to the last centimetre, I began the traditional lightning chant anyway. One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand...

    Uh-oh. Curious faces are starting to turn in our direction, and unless I'm sorely mistaken, there's a definite tinge of alarm creeping into their voices. It's now or never.

    Showtime.


    DIGBY led us in with a blisteringly fast riff on the pipes, all three syntars picking up the beat. Under full telepresence control, our army of walker mechs makes a devilishly effective percussion section.

    THUNDER!

    JUNO appears to be channelling Chrissy Amphlett, Suzi Quatro and Janis Joplin simultaneously, and man, she's really belting those lyrics out. Pure magic. Call it cybernetic trickery if you want, but I know full well there's a hefty chunk of JUNO's heart and soul in that astonishingly powerful vocal mix. IANTO and DIGBY are playing a storm, and our audience is absolutely lapping it up.

    Confession time: When we first started planning this tasteful musical interlude, IANTO tactfully suggested that flame-throwing syntars might be a bit too 'over the top' for a ship's christening. The spectators apparently think otherwise, roaring their approval as we sprayed massive arcs of flame into the air.

    Sometimes, you just have to go a wee bit crazy to get the right reaction from the punters.

    Time for the Walkers to strut their stuff. Eight fast beats after Thunderstruck, we launched straight into Atomic Dog, dropping some truly righteous funk into the mix. The worker mechs slinked, spun and slid their way down the landing field, laying it all down for the folks at home. A squadron of recon drones orbited high overhead, beaming their AV feeds directly to the colonists' PDAs.

    Believe me, you haven't lived until you've seen a 20-tonne Ripley bust a move.

    Brutal.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    Chris_the_mage0x6A7232Q_bertbaronvonsatan
  • SCUBA_PROSCUBA_PRO Join Date: 2018-08-05 Member: 242683Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
  • SCUBA_PROSCUBA_PRO Join Date: 2018-08-05 Member: 242683Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
  • Q_bertQ_bert inactivelavart Join Date: 2018-05-08 Member: 240607Members Posts: 138 Advanced user
    This story and its prequel are some of the best stories I’ve ever read. Seriously.
    Don’t steal my plants.
    0x6A7232baronvonsatan
  • Alrekr_IronhandAlrekr_Ironhand New Hampshire, US Join Date: 2016-03-22 Member: 214677Members Posts: 106 Advanced user
    @Bugzapper, not to nitpick or anything, but ... I've just done a catch-up after a couple of completely insane months at work (let's just say corporate merger), and I couldn't help noticing that a couple of the last three or four updates had a few discrepancies of tense and voice.

    For example:
    I swept its beam over the case methodically, top to bottom, then side to side. The hazy grey-green film in the sealed chamber suddenly sparks and flares like a bonsai fireworks display.
    Shouldn't that be 'sparked and flared'?
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    @Bugzapper, not to nitpick or anything, but ... I've just done a catch-up after a couple of completely insane months at work (let's just say corporate merger), and I couldn't help noticing that a couple of the last three or four updates had a few discrepancies of tense and voice.

    For example:
    I swept its beam over the case methodically, top to bottom, then side to side. The hazy grey-green film in the sealed chamber suddenly sparks and flares like a bonsai fireworks display.
    Shouldn't that be 'sparked and flared'?

    Fixed. (Good thing I'm not writing in the style of ee cummings, eh?)

    Ah, the manifold joys of running a live-to-air serial. ;)
    0x6A7232
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    Kids. They really do say the damnedest things.

    In recognition of their immense contribution to the construction effort, I let the colonists decide who would christen Borealis. After all, it's going to be as much their home as ours for the next nine or so months, and they have every right to feel justly proud of this achievement. I don't begrudge them one iota. However... One of those particularly awkward moments has occurred, and judging by the horrified gasps that rose from the colonists, this situation may require slightly more effort than a good-natured shrug and an embarrassed smile. Eight-year olds demand to know the absolute truth.

    Our wee Noriko Mori has just asked me if I'm really a ghost, because her brother Kenzo told her so. According to him, I'm actually a robot-ghost or a ghost-robot, which makes me an entirely different class of supernatural creature, apparently. Yūrei, or quite possibly Obakemono, depending on how one might regard my overall behaviour. I winced inwardly, painfully aware that some of my earlier actions may have veered just a smidgen over the 'Vengeful Spirit' side of life's balance sheet.

    I knelt slowly, bringing my face level with hers. To Noriko's credit, her wide-eyed stare never faltered.
    After muting the PA function on our PDAs, I took a deep breath and carefully began my explanation. I'm guessing that this sort of thing doesn't happen at your average ship's christening.

    "I'm not really a ghost, Noriko." I murmured. "I'm just a man who has lived a very long time. One day, my old body simply stopped working. I died. My friends JUNO, IANTO and DIGBY missed me so much that they took a copy of all my thoughts, and made a new body for my thoughts to live inside."

    Noriko's face lit up with excitement. "Like Tetsuwan Atomu? - He's my favourite robot! Kawaii!"

    "Yes, exactly like Tetsuwan Atomu, except that I can't fly without a spaceship." I grinned impishly, dropping to a whisper. "And I don't have a machinegun in my bum, either. That would be so cool!"

    Noriko giggled, clapping her hands gleefully. "Why don't you make one, Captain-san? You could fight those nasty Reapers while you're swimming away from them!"

    How about... No? Astro Boy definitely wins this round.

    Now that Noriko and I have an understanding of sorts, we can proceed with the business at hand.

    "Do you know what's so special about today, Noriko?"

    "It's my Life Day today, Captain-san! Oh, and that big ship came up from the water, didn't it?"

    "Well, that makes today even more special, doesn't it? Because it's your Life Day, you've been chosen to give our new ship her name... Don't worry, I've put all the words you'll need to say into your PDA. After that, you'll get to smash a bottle on the ship's front end. It's a very important job."

    Noriko gazed critically at the immense bulk of Borealis, two hundred metres distant.

    "I-I can't throw it that far, Captain-san." She admitted glumly. "Can you get me closer to the ship?"

    I smiled broadly. "I've got something here to help you. Have you ever seen one of these before?"

    "I think so. On the island, grown-ups use those to pick up the crawly things and throw them into the sea, but they always come back. Do you want me to throw the bottle with that gun, Captain-san?"

    "Yes, but you'll have to be very careful when the gun is holding the bottle. Don't point the gun at anything but the ship. Do you think you can do this, Noriko? Don't be ashamed to ask me for help."

    With those fateful last words, Noriko's wavering expression took on a grimly determined set that would have swelled a samurai's heart. Challenge accepted.

    All perfectly safe, of course. I'm in complete control of the propulsion cannon's systems.

    "On behalf of all here who made her, I name this ship Borealis. Bless and protect all who sail in her."

    Bullseye.


    Au revoir, Moët et Chandon 2165. Bonjour, Borealis!
    0x6A7232Q_bertbaronvonsatan
  • Q_bertQ_bert inactivelavart Join Date: 2018-05-08 Member: 240607Members Posts: 138 Advanced user
    Just a quick question, how exactly do the cave crawlers get onto the island? They can only jump a few meters, and the island is about 200 meters off the seabed, with nothing attaching it to the ground. Do reefbacks go to the bottom, pick up a ton of them, and deliver them topside or do they use magical space powers to manipulate gravity in their sole mission to annoy everyone?
    Don’t steal my plants.
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    Q_bert wrote: »
    Just a quick question, how exactly do the cave crawlers get onto the island? They can only jump a few meters, and the island is about 200 meters off the seabed, with nothing attaching it to the ground. Do reefbacks go to the bottom, pick up a ton of them, and deliver them topside or do they use magical space powers to manipulate gravity in their sole mission to annoy everyone?

    Three possible explanations... 1. Cave Crawlers have a free-swimming larval stage. They find their way to the floating islands and use them for shelter until they metamorphose into their land-dwelling form. 2. The Precursor portals are still operating, since Selkirk hasn't found it necessary to shut them down. 3. Cave Crawlers are at least as organized as ants, and may have equally disproportionate physical strength relative to their size. They could easily form living chains and ascend to the surface, although the numbers required for this feat would be staggering. My least favourite hypothesis, incidentally. :)
    Q_bertMaalteromm0x6A7232
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    In the spirit of fair play, various rites and rituals took place after the official christening of Borealis. Some were cultural in nature, others had their basis in ancient faiths. A fairly representative sample of Belter belief systems, all things considered. Shinto adherents, Daoists, Baha'i, Islamic Reformation, Hindus, Santería and Christians added their own unique flavours to the proceedings. Even the colony's lone Pastafarian bestowed his blessing upon Borealis by devoutly scattering cooked spaghetti over the waves, a gesture calculated to win the favour of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If the FSM chose to manifest as an unusually large shoal of hungry Peepers, I'd have to say that this invocation to the Divine was the only ceremony that elicited any observable response.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging anyone here. The crew and I have done our level best to ensure that Borealis will function flawlessly for the full duration of the voyage, although I'm not averse to receiving aid from any supernatural entities that might be looking our way when events turn sour. For all I know, we may well have been Touched By His Noodly Appendage today.

    By contrast, the remaining handful of speeches have been mercifully short and sweet. Halfway through Captain Halvorsen's glowing commendation of our efforts, his PDA beeped discreetly. He glanced at the screen briefly, skimming over the message without skipping a beat. Obviously good news, if that faint smile is anything to go by. It sounds like he's about to wrap things up. I conjure we'll know soon enough.

    "On behalf of everyone aboard the Carl Sagan, I'd like to thank you personally for the hospitality you've extended to my officers and crew. Out on the frontier, shore leave usually means trading the same old ceiling above your bunk for the unfamiliar ceiling of some hab dome dirt-side. The sort of place where souvenir coffee mugs and printed sweatshirts double up as native handcrafts and major tourist attractions..."

    "Yeah, like Eros Station!" one wag yelled from the crowd.

    Halvorsen grinned. "Exactly. Guess I wasn't the only one who fell for that clever bit of false advertising." After giving the audience a moment to settle down, Halvorsen continued. "Manannán is the next best thing to Paradise, at least as far as Carl Sagan's crew is concerned. Productivity has increased dramatically since shore leave became available, and shipboard morale has remained consistently high. From a mission commander's perspective, this is worth more than landing a fat bonus at mission's end. Once again, thank you all." He paused briefly, waiting for the applause to die down. "One more thing. Captain Selkirk and Commander JUNO, please step forward."

    JUNO and I exchanged puzzled glances.

    Halvorsen's expression became uncharacteristically solemn. He consulted his PDA with an almost judicial air, poring intently over its display, nodding in silent agreement with what he read there.

    "Hmm. This all appears to be in order. I concur with the decision." Halvorsen touched the PDA's Send tab with a flourish, then turned to us, smiling broadly. "Captain Selkirk, the ICC review panel has evaluated your flight qualification assessment, along with observations provided by your instructor, Commander JUNO. Given that yours is a highly unusual situation, it was originally thought that certain concessions would be required. However, your execution of the qualification flight was unanimously judged to be faultless, as was Commander JUNO's performance as instructor and examiner. Commander JUNO's flight rating has also been reinstated. Congratulations, Captain."
    0x6A7232Q_bertQuantum_Anomalybaronvonsatan
  • jehrekjehrek Join Date: 2017-11-22 Member: 234080Members Posts: 7 Fully active user
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    edited October 25
    T-minus 12 days.

    The colonists have settled down to shipboard life with a minimum of fuss. At this stage in our pre-launch preparations, most of the activity in and around Borealis is concerned with loading material reclaimed from our decommissioned bases, as well as tonnes of mineral resources accumulated during our stay on Manannán. At least one-fifth of the colony's able bodies are currently engaged in collecting samples of the planet's marine life forms. Given that we have had ample time to prepare suitable facilities beforehand, there has been no need to intensively harvest entire biomes in order to stock the mariculture and aquaponics sections of the ship. A modest number of specimens taken from each species should be sufficient to establish a sustainable breeding program. Two entire decks have been allocated to this purpose. Of course, there are some finishing touches to the interior fit-out of Borealis that still need to be addressed, although most of this work can be deferred until after our rendezvous with the Carl Sagan. According to Halvorsen's latest estimate, the Alpha Hydrae Gate will be finished just a few weeks after we break atmo.

    For the sake of convenience, we have transferred all command functions to Borealis' bridge. The crew and I are currently testing and fine-tuning the ship's systems, a grindingly thorough process that normally takes the best part of a year in vessels of this size. So far, the four of us have managed to put one-third of the ship's innards through the metaphorical wringer in two days. Excellent progress, all things considered. Naturally, we've also had to deal with a constant stream of fiddly details as well, although our ability to multi-task at a ridiculously advanced level has made this a relatively painless business. Not entirely without incident, though. Suffice it to say, we've recently had to adapt our particular way of getting things done.

    A most unfortunate misunderstanding.

    The crew and I were in the middle of a direct interface calibration run. As you might expect, this operation requires a significant percentage of our data processing capacity, so we normally suspend all physical activity in order to maintain our critical systems at peak efficiency. While we're in this state, I'd hazard a guess that some folk would find our apparent lack of vivacity a mite unsettling.

    Guess what? That's exactly what happened.

    Third Technician Anya Kotova has been a familiar face on the bridge over the last week, tinkering about with various pieces of equipment whenever she passes through on her appointed rounds. On any other day, her cheerful "Dobroye utro!" would elicit an enthusiastic reply from everyone on the bridge at the time. Unfortunately, she has picked the worst possible time to pop in for a chat.

    She shrugged, repeating her salutation in a slightly less cheerful tone. No response.

    Now, I don't know if anyone has recently reminded Anya that we're a little different up here on the bridge. It's entirely possible that she may have forgotten at the time. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. After swearing under her breath at our lack of basic courtesy, Anya stomped pointedly over to the starboard bulkhead, opened an ODN conduit and plugged her circuit analyser into a data transfer coupling. Still muttering, she continued working for about five minutes, then suddenly froze.

    Anya turned around slowly, her eyes widening in terror as she took in that horrific scene. The entire bridge crew seated motionless at their stations, lifeless eyes staring into the void. Whimpering, Anya edged toward JUNO and tried to nudge her awake. JUNO's locked-up limbs would have offered considerable resistance to a full-blooded shaking, so Anya's feeble effort had zero effect. After carefully considering this situation, Anya did precisely what anyone finding both pilots, the flight engineer and navigation officer apparently dead (or inoperative) would do.

    She panicked.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    0x6A7232Quantum_Anomalyderf213baronvonsatan
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    Hi everyone.

    I apologise for taking so long between story updates. Just started a new job, and the commute is a killer.

    It's a damn good job, though. :)

    Please bear with me, and the story will continue to unfold. In the meantime, have a listen to this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUHp7N8BVyo


    To all the die-hards out there, thanks for sticking with this little yarn so far.

    You rock.
    derf2130x6A7232baronvonsatan
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 459 Advanced user
    @Bugzapper
    Congratulations on the new job!

    The only thing I miss about commuting is reading books, I used to read a lot and now there's barely any time for it. Unless you're driving, stuck in the worst of both worlds: having to commute and not getting to relish that time (unless you deeply enjoy driving).
    Bugzapper
  • derf213derf213 Join Date: 2016-12-06 Member: 224632Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    @Bugzapper
    Congratulations on the new job!

    The only thing I miss about commuting is reading books, I used to read a lot and now there's barely any time for it. Unless you're driving, stuck in the worst of both worlds: having to commute and not getting to relish that time (unless you deeply enjoy driving).

    Audiobooks man
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 459 Advanced user
    derf213 wrote: »
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    @Bugzapper
    Congratulations on the new job!

    The only thing I miss about commuting is reading books, I used to read a lot and now there's barely any time for it. Unless you're driving, stuck in the worst of both worlds: having to commute and not getting to relish that time (unless you deeply enjoy driving).

    Audiobooks man

    It's not the same. If you're driving you need to concentrate. So you can't just finish that amazing sentence, lean your head back and cherish/think hard on it.

    And in my case, audiobooks won't do either. I walk to work in less than 10min and can't listen there. When not working I'm chasing/tending to my kids, so no listening there either. What free time I get goes into studying or gaming.
  • NauticalFishNauticalFish America Join Date: 2018-09-21 Member: 243687Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    Bugzapper wrote: »

    She panicked.
    poor girl
    i can only imagine her running through the ship screaming " Captain Selkirk is dead!"
  • NauticalFishNauticalFish America Join Date: 2018-09-21 Member: 243687Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    edited October 1
    And its good to be back. and this is a good story Bugzy
    0x6A7232
  • TigerTomTigerTom Join Date: 2018-02-27 Member: 238363Members Posts: 41 Advanced user
    It’s been so long, but I’m BACK! Btw, awesome story Bug, and I wish I could write a millionth as well as you. You should really publish this.
    Bugzapper’s Awesome Subnautica Books:
    Book 1 | Book 2
    Bugzapper
  • JAZZYFORSUBNAUTICAJAZZYFORSUBNAUTICA Join Date: 2018-05-01 Member: 240453Members Posts: 12 Fully active user
    great story you do know da wai
  • JAZZYFORSUBNAUTICAJAZZYFORSUBNAUTICA Join Date: 2018-05-01 Member: 240453Members Posts: 12 Fully active user
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    edited October 25
    Scarcely a heartbeat away from utter pandemonium, JUNO's hologram appeared on the bridge.

    "Anya... Don't. Please step away from that console."

    Anya froze at JUNO's terse command, her trembling hand poised above the master alarm panel. Fortunately, the ship's JUNO core AI has been monitoring the situation and has acted accordingly. We're in no position to sever our four-way cyberlink right now, owing to the massive complexity of this task. By the time we're done here, Borealis will be fully automated, right down to remotely flushing the ship's heads, should we ever need to. Setting up this capability has been a mighty ticklish business thus far, and we're still at least six hours away from finishing the job. If Anya had triggered that alarm, every soul onboard would have bolted straight for the evacuation pods, since that's the default emergency response at this stage. An entirely sensible precaution for any vessel being commissioned for service. For the record, we are going to program a more flexible set of emergency responses into the system, once everything is online and under full cybernetic control.

    "Technician Kotova, I assure you that the command crew are unharmed and fully operational. They are currently unable to respond, and cannot be interrupted during this systems calibration procedure. They will remain in this state until the task has been completed. Please remain calm."

    Anya exhaled raggedly, shaking her head slowly. "I'm an idiot. I forgot that the Captain and crew are toast..." She gasped in alarm, clapping a silencing hand over her mouth. Her cheeks flashed red with shame. "Sorry, Dama JUNO... I meant androids... Why would I say something like that? Stupid!"

    JUNO smiled disarmingly. "Don't worry about it, Anya. No offence taken. However, I must disagree with your personal assessment. You are an extremely intelligent and capable person. A minor slip of the tongue does not diminish your worth as a human being. As an artificial intelligence, I fully appreciate the fact that we owe our existence to talented humans such as you. Never forget that."

    Anya blushed, openly embarrassed by this unexpected praise. Over the past few months, JUNO has been monitoring Anya's movements closely. Nothing sinister about it. Merely a clinical observation of her behaviour patterns, solely to gain a broader perspective on the human condition. Apart from some awkward interactions with her colleagues in Engineering, she is rarely seen in the company of others. JUNO noticed that Anya prefers to evade social contact wherever possible, even to the point of changing her route to avoid other people. A dreadfully lonely existence, but one that is entirely self-imposed. This concept distressed JUNO at first, although her understanding of Anya's condition has grown with each new discovery. Curiously, Anya seems most at ease while she is working on the Bridge, or in close proximity to one of the command crew. She seems content to hover quietly on the sidelines, apparently gaining some vicarious enjoyment from watching the Captain and his crew at work. After carefully evaluating her observations, JUNO concluded that Anya's solitude would not be beneficial in the long term. Conversely, it would be highly inappropriate to advise Anya to seek counseling and corrective therapy.

    However, just one close friend could make a difference...

    "Dama JUNO... How come you're able to talk to me, but Captain Selkirk and the others can't?"

    JUNO strolled gracefully over to the co-pilot's station, smiling faintly.

    "Good question. I'll give you a hint... I'm not the one sitting at this console."

    Anya's brow furrowed in thought. Suddenly, she gasped. "You're Borealis?"
    TigerTom0x6A7232Quantum_Anomaly
  • TigerTomTigerTom Join Date: 2018-02-27 Member: 238363Members Posts: 41 Advanced user
    Yes! More story!
    Bugzapper’s Awesome Subnautica Books:
    Book 1 | Book 2
    0x6A7232Quantum_Anomaly
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,064 Advanced user
    "That is correct. I am the JUNO entity assigned to monitor and control all critical systems aboard Borealis. Even though the command crew are fully capable of assuming control in an emergency, it is deemed more efficient to have a dedicated AI system onboard specifically for this purpose."

    Borealis gestured toward JUNO's inert form. "In terms of technical expertise, I am the sum total of JUNO Prime's life experience. However, my personality matrix is effectively a blank slate. I have yet to develop a distinct personality of my own, as you may be aware. I perceive that my manner might be considered somewhat detached and abrupt, even rude at times, although it is best to consider my personality a 'work in progress' for the time being. I assure you, no offence is ever intended."

    "I know just how you feel." Anya sighed. "I don't mind talking to the Captain and his crew, but I can't stand being stuck in a room with other humans. That really scares me. It's like being in a stage play without a script... I-I don't know what to say anymore. I think my head is... A bit broken."

    Anya sank to the floor sobbing quietly, her head bowed. Borealis adjusted her holographic image to place herself sitting opposite Anya. She experienced a brief moment of indecision, carefully considering a distinct possibility that any intervention could do far more harm than good. One thing is absolutely certain; Anya's mind is a terribly fragile vessel.

    "Anya, please listen to me. I believe that there may be a deeper significance to your social anxiety. As my duties also require monitoring the physical and mental well-being of the ship's company, I have been programmed with all necessary skills to administer psychological counseling. However, I cannot proceed without your informed consent. If you are willing to talk to me, I can help you."

    Borealis sensed that she had said something wrong. Anya's tortured expression confirmed it.

    "I'm not going mad! There's just too many people in here... And I hate all of them!" Anya exploded.

    This is far more serious than I thought. Anya is a capable technician endowed with an intimate knowledge of the ship's systems. The slightest provocation could turn that knowledge into a weapon.

    Borealis considered her options carefully. Anya's isolation appears to be a personal construct, rather than a malicious campaign waged by someone else in the community. That much is certain, at least. In all routine interactions observed so far, several of her co-workers tend to react with distaste after conversing with her. Although eavesdropping on these brief and infrequent exchanges could provide valuable insights into Anya's condition, it would constitute a serious violation of an AI entity's ethical standards. Conventional therapy techniques may be unproductive. If pushed too hard, Anya will simply retreat deeper into herself. Those barriers have been erected for a reason.

    Faced with this dilemma, Borealis chose to abandon the clinical approach entirely. Over three centuries of behavioural psychology and psychotherapeutic research went straight out the window. There is only one sure way to deal with any insurmountable personal crisis.

    Tea and sympathy.

    The first cup went untouched. An hour crawled by in total silence. Borealis replicated a fresh cup. This also grew cold. When the third cup materialised, Anya rose unsteadily to her feet and collected the cup from the navigation console's dispenser. Reluctantly, she began to speak, barely raising her voice above a flat, lifeless murmur.
    Borealis listened in horrified silence as Anya spoke of monsters.

    One monster in particular. Armin Mikhailovitch Polyakov.
    TigerTom0x6A7232
  • NauticalFishNauticalFish America Join Date: 2018-09-21 Member: 243687Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    wait is she his daughter? No... no way polyakov could get anyone to fall in love with him. even if he built a robot it would leave him
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